Richard Webb and Roberta Haynes in The Nebraskan (1953)

Under Siege in Nebraska

Whilst the Civil war is over there is trouble brewing in the state of Nebraska as Chief Thundercloud has been murdered and the last man seen leaving his tent was Indian scout Wingfoot (Maurice Jara) who Wade Harper (Philip Carey) escorts back to Fort Carney as he believes he is innocent despite Spotted Bear (Jay Silverheels) and his Sioux warriors chasing them across open country. But Wingfoot escapes the fort when under arrest Private Reno Benton (Lee Van Cleef) murders the guard and forces Wingfoot to leave with him. With Harper and a small troop following their trail things don't go to plan as whilst Harper catches up with Reno and Wingfoot he also catches up to his ex, Mrs. Paris Elliott (Roberta Haynes) who has recently married Ace (Richard Webb) and this small group end up pinned down at Mac McBride's (Wallace Ford) outpost by Spotted Bear and his warriors.

"The Nebraskan" starts with a decent chase scene as we watch Harper and Wingfoot tearing across the dusty tracks chased by the angry Spotted Bear and for a brief moment with its decent colouring you think that maybe this will be a good western. Well "The Nebraskan" isn't necessary a bad western but one which for the most ends up routine as we have a mixed bunch of characters; from those who will hung if they get where they are going to a former love interest of the heroic Harper all pinned down in the middle of nowhere by American Indians who are after revenge. It is a very typical set up and whilst it is clear to see from the cinematography this was another western shot in 3D there isn't really anything stand out about it.

As such the majority of the characters are typical from Philip Carey being handsome, tall and heroic, the archetypal good guy to Richard Webb as the arrogant husband of the ex lover who tries to push Harper's buttons over having the woman he loved. The one performance which stands out is that of Lee Van Cleef as he plays Reno as loud, large and cocky which is complete opposite to the silent Lee Van Cleef many know from his later Spaghetti westerns.

What this all boils down to is that "The Nebraskan" is just a typical cowboys and Indians western from the 50s where a mixed group of people end up under siege from warring Native Americans. It is as I said purely typical and as such ends up pretty forgettable as well.